A breast lift procedure will lift up drooping breasts. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the popularity of breast lift cosmetic surgical procedures has outpaced that of breast augmentation procedures at a rate of two to one. Since the year 2000, the number of breast lift procedures performed by ASPS plastic surgeons has risen by 70 percent. In 2013 alone, more than 90,000 breast lift procedures were performed (up from 53,000 in 2000), mainly on women between the ages of 30 and 54. This represented 70 percent of all breast lifts performed that year.

Given this dramatic increase in the number of patients electing to undergo breast lift procedures, Dr. Paul Pin believes it is of utmost importance for patients to understand precisely what is involved in a breast lift procedure, including any potential scarring and what can be done to minimize their appearance.

Breast Lift Procedure

There are three main ways to perform a breast lift, depending upon the size and shape of the breasts, as well as the skin elasticity. In some cases, a breast lift will be combined with a breast reduction procedure.

Around the areola: This procedure is designed for women who only have a small amount of breast droop. First, Dr. Pin will make a circular incision around the areola (the darkened skin around the nipple). He will then lift away the areola and nipple, reposition them at a higher point on the chest, and then suture them back into place.

Around the areola and vertical incisions: This incision pattern is best for breasts that have a moderate amount of droop, but the nipple and areola have not fallen below the inframammary crease (the point on the underside of the breast where it meets the chest wall). In this procedure, Dr. Pin will also remove any excess breast tissue below the nipple and areola before tightening up the two vertical incisions and repositioning the nipple and areola higher on the breast. This is sometimes called a lollipop incision pattern because of the shape of the incisions once they have been sutured together.

Around the areola, vertical incisions, and horizontal inframammary crease incisions: This incision pattern is best used in conjunction with a breast reduction procedure, to both remove excess breast tissue and lift the breast. This should be used in cases in which the nipple and areola have fallen below the level of the inframammary crease.

Scars from a Breast Lift Procedure

The incision pattern just around the areola will leave the least amount of scarring, but is not recommended for those women with moderate to severe breast droop. In cases where excess breast tissue must be removed, the scarring will be more noticeable, but can be minimized with proper care. Patients should keep the incisions clean and dry until they heal over, and wash their hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap before changing any bandages and dressings. Do not touch the incisions directly before they heal over. Once the incisions are closed, silicone sheeting can be used to minimize their appearance.

A breast lift procedure can boost a woman's confidence and give her a more youthful figure. In order to gain the most benefit from the procedure, Dr. Pin recommends that patients follow all of his post-operative instructions to ensure good wound healing with a minimal amount of scarring.